Cars 2 | 2011

Genre: 3D Animation

Author : Srivathsa

Synopsis: Pixar's entertainer just without "Pixar Magic".

Pixar Animation Studios is the name that has always been actively associated with great films and sincere story telling. All their preceding ventures have been nearly always ground-breaking, not only in the three dimensional animation industry, but also with the artistic film locale, as well. Well, having said that, “Cars” was portrayed as the only weak odd man out of the Pixar’s by the critics, even when it closely missed greatness by a whisker. So, when the studios started making the sequel for their slimmest nominee, I thought there were only two reasons; one is that they might want the sequel to wipe out all and minimal bad name and memories that the former had peppered over the studio’s name; or perhaps the factual reason that the assurance provided by the brand name of their merchandise.

“Cars 2” is the sequel to “Cars” (which I personally have to admit being amazed). This sequel has been receiving quite a lot of bad or mixed reviews from the most of the critics, who claim that it doesn’t have the heart and warmth of the Pixar, which is their trademark. Also, the profundity of the story is being held responsible. Although, I do not share the same idea, the only ill sentiment I have is that, every time for the past four years, when I penned down my reviews, I swore that only a Pixar film would win the Best Animation Picture award, which I’m afraid it wouldn’t be the case this year.

Leaving apart, what the world says and what the recognition would be, Cars 2 is a merrier and fantastic sequel. It is quite naturally a Pixar film. Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Tow Mater (the dull witted truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) travel to different parts of the world, on a racing plan. Tow Mater gets stuck in a spy mix-up and then the movie is all about this James Bond-ish espionage, fuel controversy and of course, racing. Even when the posters project Lightning McQueen as the hero, Tow Mater shares the lion’s share of the screen time.

Every bit of the child like nature of an adult is habitually goaded with the racy narration. John Lasseter, who had been the back bone of Pixar, brings himself to the director’s chair along with Brad Lewis. In the enthusiasm of bringing up a high octane narration (which probably forms the weaker part of the first episode), the directors slightly tend to swerve from what we call the “Pixar magic” - the warmth of the characters. But then, the characters are appealingly sparkling and the screenplay never leaves us a minute to respire. This is undoubtedly one of the fastest volumes of Pixar, right next to “The Incredibles”. It is explosive (literally), action packed and funny.

The strength of the film without doubt lies on its technical plane. Who would bet against the Pixar? I bet no one would. The landscape construction of Tokyo, London, Paris and the awe-inspiring view of Italy (startling re-creation), is Pixar at their best. The visual exquisiteness and ravishing animation are a treat to the retina. The uber-densely rendered images of all the cars make “Cars 2” a worthwhile experience. Every frame stands out and the credits must all go to the animators and the production designers. “Cars 2” is often over stuffed with backdrop details, convoluted plot (attention required), that rewards the viewers with a gracious finale. There are puns, tributes, spoofs sprayed here and there and very recurrently. For instance, there is an advertisement board that shows “LasseTyre” for just a frame, which is an obvious tribute to the director himself.

Surely, it could’ve been an absolute, complete Pixar film, only if the story line was a tad virtuous and perfect. Pixar films are naturally perfect. “Cars 2” is not. But it doesn’t pretend to be, which might have cost them the value of the critics, but definitely does keep up their name of non stop entertainment. It involves us with a child like attachment. “Cars 2” is probably the coolest movie of the year and the raciest, entertaining summer movie, but surely DreamWorks can have their smile; Oops! Wait! ILM can have a laugh! It’s a very rare occasion that they would be waiting to capitalize on. Shhh! Don’t say it to anybody, I really liked “Cars 2”.

Note: “Cars 2” is preceded by a enchanting short – “Hawaiian Vacation”

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